Maps aren’t just for getting around anymore; they’ve become so ubiquitous–and so easy to manipulate–that they’re more like raw materials that artists, designers, and everyone else use to make sense of the world as it is, or just make a new one. Sharing the shelves with dozens of newly compiled atlases of historic cartography are books like The Map as Art or Strange Maps, which show all the weird, alternative uses people find for boring old geography. There’s an imaginary, world-wide metro, or Christian Nold’s San Francisco Emotion Map. And now, Christoph Niemann’s on the case.
Niemann, the man behind the blog-post-now-book I LEGO N.Y., takes on Google Maps as his newest canvas, turning daily life (like making omelets or going through airport security) into tangles roads and highways. No street view necessary: the map is the picture.